#105 Croucher & Galbraith – Pale Ale Reserve

Croucher & Galbraith's Reserve Pale AleName: Pale Ale Reserve
Brewery: Croucher (Rotorua) & Galbraith (Auckland)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.9%
Source: Galbraith’s Ales

Remember that time I said I’d always rather drink six different beers than six of the same? (Hint: it was in the post before this one.) Yeah well, that’s not always the case.

The glass that you see in this photo was actually my third pint of the Reserve Pale Ale… and it wasn’t my last, to be honest.

I had to drink lots of it though, because a) it was delicious and devilishly drinkable, and b) it’s a special beer that won’t be around for long. To have drunk any less would actually have been a crime.

The Reserve Pale Ale is the latest in the Galbraith’s Great Brewer Cask Ale Series, in which they invite top brewers from around NZ to visit the brewery and make a cask conditioned ale. (The last one I wrote about was the wonderful Vasta’s Velvet).  This time Paul Croucher had come up from Rotorua to make a Pale Ale, and he was there again at the launch last night.

Lots and lots of people were there at the launch actually – as somebody commented, if a bomb had gone off in Galbraith’s the country’s collective beer knowledge would have been seriously impaired. There were brewers from Emerson’s, 8 Wired, and Yeastie Boys among others, members of SOBA and the Brewers Guild, and then a load of beer err… drinkers like myself.

The general consensus was the collaborative brew was great (unless everyone else was just being polite) and I do believe it was. It had a delicate fruity hop aroma (apples perhaps?), and in the mouth it was creamy and malt-driven. There was a restrained hop bitterness which lingered right the way through (rather than showing up once everyone else had gone home), and – like all cask conditioned ales – it was very soft and quaffable.

So quaffable, in fact, that I quaffed four of them. And as I’m going back to Galbraith’s at least two more times this week, I’ll probably quaff several more.  Like I said, it won’t be around for too long (especially at the rate I’m going), so I strongly advise you do the same.

Published in: on November 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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#3 Galbraith Munich Lager

Galbraith Munich Lager Brewer: Galbraith
Name: Munich (Auckland, New Zealand)
Style: Munich Lager
Alcohol: 5%

Generally I’m not a huge fan of lagers, but that’s probably because nearly all those I’ve tried have been of the mass-produced international variety (Heineken, Stella, Carlsberg etc) which are a bit like sweet soda water only they cost heaps.

This blog is all about trying new things though, and when I saw that Mezze Bar on Little High St was selling a lager by Galbraith I decided it would be the perfect thing to cut through the mounds of greasy tapas me and Olivia ordered for lunch.

Olivia drinking a Munich Lager

My sister Olivia and her GML

And so it proved to be. The Munich Lager was crisp and refreshing, with a light malty sweetness and a lovely bitter edge. Apparently it’s brewed with from imported Moravian malt and German noble hops, which may explain why I had a sudden urge to throw my dirndl on (yes, I once bought one in Bavaria – everyone was wearing them) and climb to the top of a grassy mountain.

An aside about Galbraith’s Ale House on Mt Eden Rd. This is, I think, one of the best places to drink beer in Auckland. Occupying a large green and red building that used to be the Gratfon Library, Gailbraith’s is a warm, quiet, and comfortable brewpub which feels like an English pub might have before the existence of pool tables and pokie machines. It’s the kind of place you could wile away a rainy Sunday afternoon, engaging in quiet conversation that descends into gibberish as you sample the many fine beers on offer. I haven’t actually done this properly as I am lacking beer-geek friends in Auckland (hey, you wanna be one? Please?) but I often fantasise.

PS – Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude is chilling in the fridge for tomorrow! I’ve had Rex once before but I’m still a bit nervous. Will it be as good as last time? Will my friends like him? If I take him to a party will he start a fight? Stay tuned!

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 3:46 am  Comments (1)